Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Pear Paradigm

painting by Sergei Sarkisov.

 Pear Paradigm

“There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear, 

when it is perfect to eat.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Buying fruit in the winter

is a taken-for-granted

ersatz miracle.

Most of it comes to us

from Central and South America.

Grocery experts have iron-clad

guidelines as to exactly

when the fruit is picked


and shipped north

to the buyers.

There are huge way station

warehouses where it sits

and sort of ripens.

Food dyes are sometimes

injected to make the color

more appealing.

Peaches and pears

are touchy fruits.

When they actually do ripen,

there is only a small window

of time to consume them.

The sad results are

that they may look ripe

in the supermarket,

or even the fruit stand, but when

you bite into them, they are still green.

Unless you have your own

peach or pear tree, few of us

actually remember the incredible taste

of a tree ripened peach or a pear.

In 1956 we rented a two story house

that had an old pear tree in the back yard.

Upstairs, from my bedroom window,

I could crawl out  on the porch roof

and walk right over to the nearby tree.

Those hard to get pears from the top

of the tree that ripen perfectly

were within easy reach.

For many a lunch I would sit

on that hot tin roof

and gobble golden pears;

eat them voraciously until

I would get a sugar high

or get an upset stomach.

They were so juicy

my face and the front

of my shirt would get soaked.

That was 65 years ago,

and though I searched,

I never found any pears

that tasted that good again.

Glenn Buttkus 

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub


Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is incredibly evocative, Glenn! I love both peaches and pears and resonate strongly with; "When they actually do ripen,there is only a small window of time to consume them.The sad results are that they may look ripe in the supermarket,or even the fruit stand, but when you bite into them, they are still green.Unless you have your own peach or pear tree, few of us actually remember the incredible taste of a tree ripened peach or a pear."๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’ May we find a perfect to consume batch again!

robkistner said...

This is a wonderfully engaging piece Glenn, and so damned true. When i was in the 8th grade we bought my father’s father’s 10 acre country house. 2 Peach trees, 2 pears trees, 2 apple trees, a strawberry patch, and a small grape arbor — dark purple grapes. That summer I ate so much fresh fruit that I was regular as a grandfather clock. I got stung a number of times each summer by the bees that swarmed to the overripe fruit that would drop to the ground — but my god, the taste if that fruit was sublime, and worth the itchy stings! Never in years have I again tasted anything so damned sweet and succulent… mmmmmmm GOOD!! Thank you brother for bringing those memories back.

De Jackson said...

I can picture you, gobbling those golden pears. Wonderful descriptions here. There's nothing like a truly amazing pear.

Ron Rowland said...

Ah, the endless quest for tree-ripened fruit. I enjoyed Keifer pears from the roadside markets when I lived in Texas (I believe early August was the opportune time). They were the ugliest looking pears, but the best tasting in my opinion with a taste/texture like Asian pears.

Dale said...

There is nothing like a pear picked right from the tree at its perfect ripeness. You are right, unless you have a tree (or a friend with a tree), you can never get that very same taste. Wonderful descriptoins!

Truedessa said...

You totally took me there, I could see you eating those pears. I had to smile at this line. They do seems to bruise easily, especially peaches.

Peaches and pears

are touchy fruits.

JadeLi said...

Beautiful poem.

God is merciful and showed such kindness to a young boy who needed just that in his world at that time. There's an old pear tree in the back yard here. If I'm lucky I can find one or two a season that the critters haven't gotten to. You're right nothing tastes quite so good as a naturally ripened juicy pear fresh off the tree.

Ingrid said...

It's true that we have the convenience of seasonal fruits all year round, but I do wonder what's the point when we don't have the flavour. We are lucky to have many cherry, peach and plum trees close to where we live. Wild strawberries also. Summer will be fruity!

sarah said...

There's no point eating fruit out of season! It's just mush.

Pears are tricky. They ripen from the inside out, so you have to take a leap of faith when you eat one! Lovely memories here.

Kim M. Russell said...

Great title, Glenn, and the perfect quote to match it. I remember when we could only buy fruit and veg in season; we appreciated it more and it did taste better. Anything out of season has travelled miles in trucks, goes through all the things you describe in your poem, and suffers because of it. It’s true, peaches and pears are touchy. Fruit from the tree is a dream for some and a reality for others. – I’m so glad we shared it at the Poets Pub. Thank you for sharing the memory of the old pear tree in your back yard. We wen scrumping in the local vicarage orchard for fresh fruit.

A Reading Writer said...

Your quote fits perfectly, Glennn. And I love the memories you captured here and the journey of these fruits. I guess the fruits with childhood memories are rare finds as we grow older.

Sunra Rainz said...

I love your description of this pear paradigm and the tiny window of perfection they possess for us to consume them! I would still eat them over-ripe though :-)

brudberg said...

To find any fruit that has ripened in the sun is truly a wonder... so we don't really know how they should taste, and it's probably worse now than in the past...

We actually get ripe strawberries when they are in season.

Helen said...

I love, love your story poem ... I can see the boy venturing out onto the roof, plucking those pears. A good ripe juicy pear is a thing of beauty.